2012/2013: Scottish Championship A



M. Davis15S. Lang
F. Cuthbertson14C. Binnie
M. Sim13J. Brogan
S. Malone12A. Henderson (c)
S. Baxter11G. Adams
R. McAulay10D. Dunn
A. Fisken9A. Gillman
I. Henderson1S. Spowart
M. Vallance2J. Malcolm
D. Munro3M. Kidd
A. Kennedy4R. Glen
C. Morrison5R. Jenkins
F. Smeaton6D. Malcolm
J. McAulay7P. Harkins
A. Thomson8G. MacDonald
N. Copeland16S. Carson
N. Fullarton17S. Fisher
A. Ritchie18A. Auld
S. Hunter19J. Edgar
TryBinnie (2), Adams, Harkins, D. Malcolm
ConBrogan (3)
Mr S. Henry

GHA got their new year off to the perfect start after whitewashing West of Scotland at Burnbrae, scoring 5 tries in the process. Chris Binnie (2), Gordon Adams, Paul Harkins and Donald Malcolm all dotted down however it was the nil points to West that was the most impressive element of this performance as the GHA defense stood firm for the full 80 minutes. 

GHA had much of the early running and they opened their account on 4 minutes when John Brogan slotted a penalty.  Chris Binnie scored GHA’s first try which came from a well worked counter attack with John Brogan making good ground on the right hand side before passing inside to Binnie for the score.

West were playing a patient game and their tenacity at the break down meant they were able to hold on to the ball for long phases of play. West came close on the 20 minute mark as a driving maul from a lineout was halted just short. West pressured the GHA line but gradually GHA pushed them back and as the passage of play went well into double phases, GHA had marched them back a full 40 metres before winning a penalty. From the resulting lineout, GHA skipper Andrew Henderson made a mid field break and openside flanker Paul Harkins took the inside pass and blazed over for the score. Brogan converted to give GHA a 15 nil half time advantage.

Chris Binnie got the second half off to a great start as quick phase play inside the West 22 from GHA stretched West out wide allowing him to touch down in the right hand corner.

Throughout the contest, GHA showed a bit of rustiness in attack that meant a few chances went a begging and it was a full 15 minutes before GHA secured the bonus point score. Gordon Adams hacked ahead on the half way line and showed some great footballing skills to nudge the ball along before falling on it over the line.

Donald Malcolm scored GHA’s fifth try, 5 minutes from time. The GHA forwards showed some strong running inside the West half and when Malcolm took an offload he pinned his ears back and scythed through for a great score to cap off a satisfying win after 3 weeks off due to the weather.

The result leaves GHA top of the Championship A table with a game in hand over second place Falkirk.

GHA Head Coach Gordon MacPherson hailed his side’s defensive efforts. He said:

“Our defence has improved as the season has progressed. Even though our attacking
play wasn’t the best our defensive performance was probably the best aspect of our game. It was pleasing to close them down and not let them score.”

Despite the 34-0 victory Head Coach Gordon MacPherson feels they should have won by more. He said:

“We scored some good attacking tries. But there was a lot of scrappy play. It showed that we hadn’t had a game for a few weeks. It was a rusty performance. No disrespect to West of Scotland we could have beaten them by more points if we had taken a few more of our opportunities especially in the first half. They are a side who are lacking in confidence. They were quite plucky but we should have won by more.”

Next week it will be a massive step up for GHA as they are at home to Premiership leaders Ayr in the Cup. It looks like GHA will need to win their two remaining games against both Ayr and Hillhead/Jordanhill if they are to progress to the regional semi finals.  Kick off at Braidholm is 2pm.

Source: David Coates

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